According to the court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, the singer claims that Carter used his fame and status to “gain access to, groom, manipulate, exploit, and sexually assault” her.
Schuman was a member of the 2000s pop group Dream. She came forward in 2017 with a now-deleted blog post claiming that she was raped by Carter in 2003. She claimed that he allegedly forced himself on her and took her virginity in his Santa Monica apartment. She was 18 and he was 22 at the time.
Carter denied the allegations at the time – providing a statement to CNN that read: “Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual.”
He continued: “We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally.”
In 2018, Los Angeles prosecutors did not pursue any sexual assault charges against Carter as the statute of limitations had expired, but a recently passed California law temporarily lifted the statute of limitations for sexual assault claims to be brought in civil court.
Schuman claims she had remained quiet all of these years due to fear. In her 2017 appearance on The Dr. OZ Show, she explained: “I’d actually confided in my manager at that time about pressing charges. And I was told that Carter had the most powerful litigator in the country and that I didn’t have the money to pay for an attorney to essentially defend me, if he were to come after me.”
She added: “My manager told me, ‘You know you’re trying to build a name for yourself right now, everyone’s going to call you fame hungry, that you’re trying to use this to better yourself or get your name out there and at this point there’s nothing we can do.”
Last year, a civil lawsuit was filed stating that the singer allegedly raped a 17-year-old fan on his tour bus in 2001.
The allegations were made by Shannon Ruth, now aged 40, who claimed that Carter handed her a drink which she believed contained a mix of cranberry juice and alcohol, before attacking her on the tour bus.
She claimed that she encountered the singer when approaching him for an autograph after a Backstreet Boys show in Tacoma, Washington. She also stated that she remained quiet following the assault as she feared retaliation.
Ruth has described herself as autistic and having cerebral palsy, claiming that after the alleged assault Carter called her a “retarded bitch.”
Carter has denied all allegations against him and filed a counter-suit against both Ruth and Schulman seeking at least $2.35 million in damages.
His legal team also accused Ruth of being “manipulated into making false allegations” by Schuman.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, the Backstreet Boy’s attorney Liane K. Wakayama claimed that “Melissa Schuman has been peddling this tale for many years, but her allegation was false when she first made it back in 2017 – and it still is.”
Wakayama alleged that this situation is all a PR stunt that is aimed to “damage, defame and extort Nick, his associates, his friends and his family.”
Last month, a judge ruled that Carter can pursue his countersuit against Ruth despite her lawyers arguing that the countersuit violated Nevada’s anti-SLAPP law – a statute designed to prevent lawsuits filed in an effort to stifle free speech, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The ruling comes after Carter previously claimed that a dozen witnesses can back him up against his ongoing accusations of sexual assault.
He reportedly said that the witnesses gathered were all present at the show, and include a talent manager, security personnel and fans.